THEOTOKOS SINLESSNESS

And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Lk1:42-43)

The Visitation Icon

On Two Ideals of Perfection for the Orthodox

St. Athanasius the Great ca. 297-373

The Holy Scriptures, which instruct us, and the life of Mary, Mother of God, suffice as an ideal of perfection and the form of the heavenly life. (De Virginitate, in Le Museon 42: 255. Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin in Patristic Thought by Luigi Gambero pg. 104)

St. Augustine on the Holiness of the Virgin

Blessed Augustine of Hippo ca. 354-430

With the exception of the holy Virgin Mary, in whose case, out of respect for the Lord, I do not wish there to be any further question as far as sin is concerned, since how can we know what great abundance of grace was conferred on her to conquer sin in every way, seeing that she merited to conceive and bear Him Who certainly had no sin at all. (De Natura et Gratia 36, 42)

On the Virgin

St. Epiphanius of Salamis ca. 315-403

Is not the very name [virgin] sufficient witness? Is it not enough to convince you, you quarrelsome fellow? Was there ever anyone who dared pronounce the name of holy Mary without immediately adding the title “Virgin”? (Haer. 78.6)

St. Maximus on the Blessed Virgin

St. Maximus the Confessor ca. 580-662

She said prophetically, “from now on every generation will call me blessed.” (Lk. 1:48) Truly the host of angels and generations of humanity call her blessed, and those who do not call her blessed and do not glorify her, they are not reckoned among humanity, but they are children of perdition and the portion of the devil. Nevertheless, every generation of true human beings calls her blessed and glorifies her as a helper and intercessor with the Lord. (The Life of the Virgin, 27

On Three Celebrated Mysteries

St. Ignatius of Antioch died ca. 115

St Ignatious, Bishop of Antioch, conversed with Mary our Virgin

Now the virginity of Mary was hidden from the prince of this world, as was also her offspring, and the death of the Lord; three mysteries of renown, which were wrought in silence by God. How, then, was He manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else [in the heavens]. Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life. And now that took a beginning which had been prepared by God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because He meditated the abolition of death. (Epistle to the Ephesians 19)

Daily Indulgence: partial (300 days) Plenary indulgence once a month under usual conditions devoutly repeated daily for 1 month. RACCOLTA pg 259.

#357. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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